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Arianism




Arianism


A heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus
Christ.

DOCTRINE

First among the doctrinal disputes which troubled Christians after Constantine
had recognized the Church in A.D. 313, and the parent of many more during some
three centuries, Arianism occupies a large place in ecclesiastical history. It
is not a modern form of unbelief, and therefore will appear strange in modern
eyes. But we shall better grasp its meaning if we term it an Eastern attempt to
rationalize the creed by stripping it of mystery so far as the relation of
Christ to God was concerned. In the New Testament and in Church teaching Jesus
of Nazareth appears as the Son of God. This name He took to Himself (Matt., xi,
27; John, x, 36), while the Fourth Gospel declares Him to be the Word (Logos),
Who in the beginning was with God and was God, by Whom all things were made. A
similar doctrine is laid down by St. Paul, in his undoubtedly genuine Epistles
to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians. It is reiterated in the Letters
of Ignatius, and accounts for Pliny's observation that Christians in their
assemblies chanted a hymn to Christ as God. But the question how the Son was
related to the Father (Himself acknowledged on all hands to be the one Supreme
Deity), gave rise, between the years A. D. 60 and 200, to number of Theosophic
systems, called generally Gnosticism, and having for their authors Basilides,
Valentinus, Tatian, and other Greek speculators. Though all of these visited
Rome, they had no following in the West, which remained free from controversies
of an abstract nature, and was faithful to the creed of its baptism.
Intellectual centers were chiefly Alexandria and Antioch, Egyptian or Syrian,
and speculation was carried on in Greek. The Roman Church held steadfastly by
tradition. Under these circumstances, when Gnostic schools had passed away with
their "conjugations" of Divine powers, and "emanations" from the Supreme
unknowable God (the "Deep" and the "Silence") all speculation was thrown into
the form of an inquiry touching the "likeness" of the Son to His Father and
"sameness" of His Essence. Catholics had always maintained that Christ was truly
the Son, and truly God. They worshipped Him with divine honors; they would never
consent to separate Him, in idea or reality, from the Father, Whose Word, Reason,
Mind, He was, and in Whose Heart He abode from eternity. But the technical terms
of doctrine were not fully defined; and even in Greek words like essence (ousia),
substance (hypostasis), nature (physics), person (hyposopon) bore a variety of
meanings drawn from the pre-Christian sects of philosophers, which could not but
entail misunderstandings until they were cleared up. The adaptation of a
vocabulary employed by Plato and Aristotle to Christian truth was a matter of
time; it could not be done in a day; and when accomplished for the Greek it had
to be undertaken for the Latin, which did not lend itself readily to necessary
yet subtle distinctions. That disputes should spring up even among the orthodox
who all held one faith, was inevitable. And of these wranglings the rationalist
would take advantage in order to substitute for the ancient creed his own
inventions. The drift of all he advanced was this: to deny that in any true
sense God could have a Son; as Mohammed tersely said afterwards, "God neither
begets, nor is He begotten" (Koran, cxii). We have learned to call that denial
Unitarianism. It was the ultimate scope of Arian opposition to what Christians
had always believed. But the Arian, though he did not come straight down from
the Gnostic, pursued a line of argument and taught a view which the speculations
of the Gnostic had made familiar. He described the Son as a second, or inferior
God, standing midway between the First Cause and creatures; as Himself made out
of nothing, yet as making all things else; as existing before the worlds of the
ages; and as arrayed in all divine perfections except the one which was their
stay and foundation. God alone was without beginning, unoriginate; the Son was
originated, and once had not existed. For all that has origin must begin to be.

Such is the genuine doctrine of Arius. Using Greek terms, it denies that the Son
is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial
(homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity,
or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity. The Logos which ... more

st methodius

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Saint Report:
St. Nicholas


St. Nicholas, called "of Bari", Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day.
The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and churches which have been everywhere dedicated in his memory are testimonials to his holiness and of the glory which he enjoys with God. He is said to have been born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. Myra, the capital, not far from the sea, was an episcopal see, and this church falling vacant, the holy Nicholas was chosen bishop, and in that station became famous by his extraordinary piety and zeal and many astonishing miracles. The Greek histories of his life
agree that he suffered imprisonment of the faith and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Dioletian, and that he was present at the Council of Nicaea and there
condemned Arianism. The silence of other authors makes many justly suspect these
circumstances. He died at Myra, and was buried in his cathedral.

This summary account by Alban Butler tells us all that is known about the life of the famous St.
Nicholas, and even a little more; for his episcopate at Myra during the fourth century is really all that seems indubitable authentic. This is not for lack of material, beginning with the life attributed to the monk who died in 847 as St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople. But he warns us that "Up to the present the life of this distinguished Shepard has been unknown to the majority of the faithful", and sets about enlightening their ignorance nearly five hundred years after the saint's death. This is the least unreliable of the "biographical" sources available, and a vast amount of literature, critical and expository, have grown up around them. Nevertheless, the universal popularity of the saint for so many centuries requires that some account of these legends should be given here.

We are assured that from his earliest days Nicholas would take nourishment only once on
Wednesdays and Fridays, and that in the evening according to the canons. "He was exceedingly
well brought up by his parents and trod piously in their footsteps. The child, watched over by the
church enlightened his mind and encouraged his thirst for sincere and true religion". His parents
died when he was a young man, leaving him well off and he determined to devote his inheritance to works of charity. An opportunity soon arose. A citizen of Patara had lost all his money, and had moreover to support three daughters who could not find husbands because of their poverty; so the wretched man was going to give them over to prostitution. This came to the ears of Nicholas, who thereupon took a bag of gold and, under cover of darkness threw it in at the open window of the man's house. Here was a dowry for the eldest girl and she was soon duly married. At intervals Nicholas did the same for the second and third; at the last time the father was on the watch, recognized his benefactor and overwhelmed him with his gratitude. It would appear that the three purses represented in pictures, came to be mistaken for the heads of three children and so they gave rise to the absurdstory of the children, resuscitated by the saint, who had been killed by an innkeeper and pickled in a brine-tub.

Coming to the city of Myra when the clergy and people of the province were in session to elect a
new bishop, St. Nicholas was indicated by God as the man they should choose. This was at the
time of the persecutions at the beginning of the fourth century and "As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, the divine Nicholas was seized by the magistrates, tortured, then chained and thrown into prison with many other
Christians. But when the great and religious Constatine, chosen by God assumed the imperial
diadem of the Romans, the prisoners were released from their bonds and with them the illustrious
Nicholas, who when he was set at liberty returned to Myra." St. Methodius asserts that "thanks to the ... more

st methodius

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  • Saint Report Saint Report :Saint Report: St. Nicholas St. Nicholas, called of Bari, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day. The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and churches which have been everywhere dedicated in his memory are testimonials to his holiness and of the glory which he enjoys with God. He is said to have been born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. Myra, the capital, not far from the sea, was an episcopal see, and this churc...
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  • Arianism Arianism Arianism Arianism A heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. DOCTRINE First among the doctrinal disputes which troubled Christians after Constantine had recognized the Church in A.D. 313, and the parent of many more during some three centuries, Arianism occupies a large place in ecclesiastical history. It is not a modern form of unbelief, and therefore will appear strange in modern eyes. But we shall better grasp its meaning if we term it an Eastern atte...
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  • History Cheat Note History Cheat Note History Cheat Note 1. Justinians court was much like the Easterns rule; the subjects were spaced from the rulers in space, dress and obedience. The laws were in Latin, even though the common language was Greek. 2. 622- Heraclius opened a successful attack on the Persians. 628- At Ctesiphon a peace treat was signed in favor of Heraclius 632- Muhammads followers conquered and ran the Empire. 717-718- Leo III beat back Muslim attack on Constantinople. 3. Iconoclastic policy under Leo III...
  • A late case of Glossotomy A late case of Glossotomy a late case of Glossotomy GLOSSOTOMY IN MACEDONIA The split of a language into two is something which the greatest fantasts in the world have not dared do. Our scholars, however, did it for political, rather than linguistic considerations. Leonida Lari, Romanian writer from Moldova, (Literatura si arta a 18.8.1988) There are quite a few European languages spoken outside their own country: for instance German in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Denmark, Bel...